a random act of kindness for donna-day 5

we need to be kind to ourselves.  we are our own worst enemies…you’ve all heard that statement before.  it screams truth.  i am my own worst enemy, without a doubt.

random act of kindness #5:  today i am having compassion for myself.  giving myself a break for my mistakes/behavior.

i started this RAOK pledge because of the way i have been feeling, or rather, acting as of late.  not feeling myself.  acting abrasive.  losing my smile.  expressing a lack of gratitude as well as a lack of kindness towards others (and myself).  and being kind towards others, helps take me out of my own head…which ultimatley is where i have disappeared to.

i’ve been hard on myself for my recent behavior.  beating myself up for my actions, reactions,  and feelings.

this morning, on an early morning bike ride, i processed some important details about my life and what i have put myself through in the past 10 months.  let’s review:

1.  i found sobriety and stopped drinking. began recovery. (10 months  and 20 days ago)

      2.  i quit smoking, after smoking 2 packs a day for more than half my life! (6 months and 5 days ago)

      3.  i went off of my antidepressants.  being flatlined by meds is not my definition of living.  i wanted to really feel life again. (about one month ago)

      4.  transformed into a full-fledged vegan. (about 7-8 months ago)

those 4 things are big life changes.  huge.  and it is not recommended to make so many drastic changes all at once.  especially when newly sober!  but being the good alcoholic i am, that is the way i operate.  all or nothing.  that’s my personality.

as i was riding my bike along the beach this morning, i thought about all of those amazing positive changes i have made in my life, and how much success i have had in my growth as a sober, non-smoking, un-medicated, vegan human being.  but the success does not come without challenges and mountains to climb , lose balance on, and roll down face first.

emotional stress.  emotions period.  they can cause me and my happy- go- charming mood to vanish into a black hole.  and that is what has happened.  im human.  and i am emotionally overwhelmed, perhaps.  my body is changing from the inside out.  brain chemicals are being depleted and regenerated, in the attempt to find a natural balance for me.  my feelings are surfacing tenfold, without the erroneously zen presence of zoloft and wellbutrin.  i can’t run to the vodka if i become irritable or discontent.  sad or hurt.  happy or eager.  instead, i must sit with those feelings.  and as we know, bad/uncomfortable feelings are not always fun to sit with and ride through.

therefore, i am giving myself a break for being a little dark and abrasive, or sad and uncertain in the past couple of months.  life is not always a series of clean smells and warm weather days.

so here i am, giving myself a well deserved pat on the back, coupled with some personal compassion and forgiveness of self.  my random act of kindness for the day.

give yourself a break!

and with each smokeless, vegan, un-medicated passing day of sobriety, my smile and feelings of gratitude grow back.  patience with personal growth is not an innate quality for me….but i am training.

 

i forgot how to use a pen!

not really, but do you remember the last time you received a handwritten letter from someone?  or the last time you sent a hand written note to someone?  do you recall the days when getting the mail was exciting…..the possibility of a letter from a friend or family member?  or lover?  the anticipation?  or the surprise?  those days a re long gone.

random acts of kindness pledge-day 4:  writing a hand written letter to my best friend, sarah.

we have been friends since age 14.  we’ve laughed, screamed, cried, fought with such loud vocalizations, God was telling us to shut up.  thankfully we never really physically fought,  although we did once get into a physical brawl over a beer in high school.  go figure.  that was quite a funny scene as i recall.  teenagers!  we were trouble back in the day.

so… i was thinking of dear sarah, and decided to sit down and hand write a letter to her.  i wanted to be personal, and a text or email just didn’t feel personal.  we use to exchange “notes” in high school daily.  personal little letters.  with silly sketches and drawings.  it was so fun.  and the handwritten quality of the notes made them personal.  writing with a pen takes effort and more time then a text or email.  you have some thoughts.  you put them down, pen to paper.  stuff it in an envelope.  throw a stamp on and hand it to the postman.  the receiver gets your thoughts a few days later.  not instantly via text or email.   there is an excitement nowadays, i would imagine, when a letter is found in ones mailbox.  it is a nearly extinct practice today.

with all the advancement in technology, the human race has become much less personable.  less social.  less friendly.  and much less authentic.  there is no need to be as real anymore.  at least not socially. true face-time is limited for many these days. and im not talking about the video chat application.  im referring to real face to face time spent together talking.   luckily most people still need to show up for work and school, so there is some human interaction there.  but it is far less than it was 15 or 20  years ago.  everyone is hiding behind their online profiles.  there is no need to be real and truly personal today, cause we are able to hide behind the facade of a social presence…called facebook. pinterest.  twitter.  foursquare. and the like.  as well as text messages and emails.  it’s the perfect hideout, especially for introverts like myself.  i do it.  im guilty.

however, i don’t think its the healthiest way to “socialize.” or  to show kindness or sentiment.  some things should be left offline.  which brings me back to the hand written letter to sarah.  i could have easily sent her a text message saying “hey, thinking of you and missing you.”

blah.  in using that route all the time, the meaning gets lost after a while.

but a hand written letter, unexpected.  that my friends, will put a big smile on sarah’s face…i suspect.

and so my  4th random act of kindness has been completed.  and in writing that letter, i got a rush of great memories of our fun times together back in the day…before marriage, kids, careers, and life stepped in.  it felt good putting pen to paper.

 

i hope she doesn’t see this blog post before her letter arrives.

random acts of kindness pledge-day 2

random act of kindness #2 description:  picking up the tab for dinner with my dear friend katie.

why?  because i felt like it.  it’s nice to take out a friend and treat them to coffee or a meal, coupled with friendly catch up time and conversation!  it was a lovely couple hours spent at one of my favorite places to eat, swingers.

what did i have to eat, you ask?  the vegan cobb salad. i give it 5 out of 5 stars for sure!  oh yeah and one whole wheat vegan pancake on the side.  i couldn’t resist.

let’s review the day, and why this random act benefitted me and helped my sobriety and sanity.  it’s a holiday today…memorial day.  a monday.   most people have the day off from work and spent the day perhaps at the beach, or BBQ-ing with buddies, etc.  i spent the day working.  no complaints, that’s life.  it happens.  however by the time i got out to see my friend katie for an early dinner, i had a little bit of a resentment brewing in me, and a little bit of a pity party having a dance off in my head…all because i felt sorry for myself for having had to spend all day indoors on my computer.  but once i got out and in good company with katie, i began to get out of my personal pity bash and out of my own head by asking about katie.  and how she is doing.  yes, my life was discussed as well, but we shared our lives with each other, and all in the world was good.  although this particular random act of kindness was paying for our meals in the end, the real kindness came from katie..her friendship…and the joy that comes with a simple meal and some friendly conversation.  so thank you katie…for being you.

and really, im grateful to have my job and i didn’t mind all that much working today, of course.  i just lost hold of my gratitude momentarily.

here is katie at the awesome swingers diner….

all of this helps me stay out of my own head, be of service to others, stay in gratitude, and stay sober!

more random acts to come…

 

 

random acts of kindness pledge-day 1

my journey towards being of service to others, bringing kindness to others, and finding my own gratitude in life, has begun.   365 days performing (at least) one random act of kindness daily…day 1.  it was a good day to begin, as i had a rough start upon awakening.  i needed to do something that would distract me from my own victim mentality and focus on someone else.

my dear friend and co-worker, elaine, loves dark chocolate covered ginger from the co-opportunity in santa monica.  so, on my way into work, i decided to stop by the co-op and grab her a treat for no good reason, other than i adore her and felt like making her smile that morning.  life can be tough and during those tough times, we can forget to use our smile muscles.  elaine needed to massage those muscles.  and i knew that.

i left the treat full of happiness on her desk and went about my business.  hopefully it made her feel a little extra loved…which she is.

i wonder what todays random act of kindness will look like?

the kindness commitment-365 DAYS

random acts of kindness.

a smile at a stranger.  the unexpected compliment.  offering a hug.  a hand written note.  a surprise home cooked (vegan) meal for your partner.

this has been a very strange week for me, emotionally.  i’ve been a tad bitter.  i’ve put expectations onto others, which always lead to disappointment.  i know better than that.  i’ve been selfish perhaps, with too much emphasis on my needs.  and in not getting what i feel i deserve or want, i turned cold.  maybe even a little passive aggressive.  such ugly qualities.  it’s that child in me screaming “i want! i want! i want!.”

i don’t like feeling this way at all.  it is an unattractive way for me to live.  an unpleasant position.  and i’d much prefer to simply be content and accepting of  life’s results throughout the day.  as i am not in control of them anyway, so why should i be controlled by them?

i have so much to be grateful for in my world.  so much to smile about.  yet i forget that when my mood takes over and my dark ego prevails, seeking fulfillment where fulfillment can’t possibly be found.

with that said, i decided i needed to come up with a way to bring my gratitude to the forefront daily.  a way to remind me of why we as a human race are here.  a way to take the focus off of me and my needs, and put that energy where it belongs…being of service to others, in a kind, gentle, human way.

so here is what i have decided to do:

I am committing to do more small acts of kindness.  at least one a day, for the next 365 days.  after that i am hoping it will just happen naturally, as it should.  i am a kind-hearted person, most of the time, and i love to help others and be kind to others.  however, i have a side that closes up quickly and when that happens, people know to get out of my way.  my friendly face goes into hiding.  i become unapproachable.  and i do not like it when that happens.  in fact, i can’t stand to be around myself when im in such ridiculous moods!

focussing on others through this new random act of kindness journey, will help me to stay away from that darker side, and focus on the good in me, and others.  it is really remarkable how when we take the focus off ourselves and help others…bring kindness to others…..our own mood and souls are given a warmth that is unexplainable.  it just feels right.  bring others kindness and your gratitude will blossom tenfold.  if you don’t believe me, follow me on this journey….

365 consecutive days of performing simple acts of kindness.

i will document the kindness daily on this blog.  and for a girl who lacks strength in commitment, this is a big pledge.  but i am on a journey of growth, so i am willing.  and i look forward to it.

I HOPE YOU WILL JOIN ME ON THIS PLEDGE TOWARDS MORE KINDNESS, SERVICE, AND GRATITUDE. ADD YOUR EMAIL AT THE TOP OF THIS BLOG WHERE IT SAYS “FOLLOW MY MIND VIA EMAIL” AND YOU WILL NEVER MISS A DAY ON MY JOURNEY TOWARDS MORE KINDNESS.  READY…SET….GO……..